Mental health is something that is of vital importance, and even if you are physically well, you may need medical care for your mental well-being. Everything from mild stress and anxiety to sever, chronic depression can be considered mental health concerns, and thankfully, help is available in the form of medications, therapeutic support and inpatient care.
The truth is that mental health concerns don’t discriminate based on age, and seniors find themselves facing mental health challenges just like younger people. The good news is that Medicare offers coverage for mental health care in a variety of ways, including both inpatient care through Medicare Part A and outpatient care through Medicare Part B.
What Medicare Mental Health Benefits are Offered Under Part A?
Medicare Part A provides inpatient care and is typically utilized for medical services and support rendered while admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility. In terms of coverage for mental health services, Medicare Part A provides benefits in two ways.
Mental Health Inpatient Services While Admitted
First, if you are hospitalized for a condition that is unrelated to mental health and you require mental health services while admitted, Medicare Part A covers your treatment the same as it covers most other care provisions for admittance. This means that 100% of your costs are covered as long as your services are provided by hospital staff in accordance with Medicare’s guidelines.
Additionally, your treatment is covered as long as it is administered within your plan’s coverage window. For most people, this means your first 60 days of inpatient care are covered at 100%, the next 30 days are covered at a discounted rate and then lifetime reserve days can be used for further coverage of inpatient care until the next benefit period or until your lifetime reserve days are exhausted.
Mental Health Inpatient Services in a Psychiatric Hospital
If you require inpatient care as a direct result of a mental health concern, you may be treated in a psychiatric hospital. This is a facility specifically designed to care for people who need assistance with mental health problems.
If this is the case, your treatment and services will be covered the same as a traditional inpatient visit. Medicare Part A will supply coverage for your treatment, room and board, diagnostic testing and evaluations as well as other components of your care while admitted.
You may receive up to 60 days of inpatient care under Medicare Part A, after which 60 more days must pass before a new benefit period can begin. If this happens, you will need to meet your plan’s deductible once again in order to begin receiving Medicare Part A benefits for inpatient care.
How Much Will I Pay for Medicare Mental Health Benefits?
In terms of your cost to access Medicare’s mental health benefits, there are several factors involved. If accessing mental health benefits under Part A, your costs will include your deductible as well as any coinsurance due.
Medicare mental health services in Medicare Advantage
If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll have the same benefits as Original Medicare Part A and Part B, but your plan may include additional services. Check with your plan directly to find out if any additional mental health benefits are included in your plan’s coverage.